Essays & Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Barnes & Noble Classics)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
As an adolescent America searched for its unique identity among the nations of the world, a number of thinkers and writers emerged eager to share their vision of what the American character could be. Among their leaders was Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose essays, lectures, and poems defined the American transcendentalist movement, though he himself disliked the term.
Emerson advocates a rejection of fear-driven conformity, a total independence of thought and spirit, and a life lived in harmony with nature. He believes that Truth lies within each individual, for each is part of a greater whole, a universal “over-soul” through which we transcend the merely mortal.
Emerson was extremely prolific throughout his life; his collected writings fill forty volumes. This edition contains his major works, including Nature, the essays “Self-Reliance,” “The American Scholar,” “The Over-Soul,” “Circles,” “The Poet,” and “Experience,”, and such important poems as “The Rhodora,” “Uriel,” “The Humble-Bee,” “Earth-Song,” “Give All to Love,” and the well-loved “Concord Hymn.”
Peter Norberg has been Assistant Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia since 1997. A specialist in New England transcendentalism and the history of the antebellum period, he also has published on Herman Melville’s poetry. He currently is writing a history of Emerson’s career as a public lecturer.
liberal of her earth, that it appears to us that we lack the affirmative principle, and though we have health and reason, yet we have no superfluity of spirit for new creation? We have enough to live and bring the year about, but not an ounce to impart or to invest. Ah that our Genius were a little more of a genius! We are like millers on the lower levels of a stream, when the factories above them have exhausted the water. We too fancy that the upper people must have raised their dams. If any of
from hand to mouth, without plan, and are ever at the end of their line, and after each action wait for an impulse from abroad. Napoleon had been the first man of the world, if his ends had been purely public. As he is, he inspires confidence and vigor by the extraordinary unity of his action. He is firm, sure, self-denying, self-postponing, sacrificing every thing,—money, troops, generals, and his own safety also, to his aim; not misled, like common adventurers, by the splendor of his own means.
passive to the educated Will. Then shall come to pass what my poet said; “Nature is not fixed but fluid. Spirit alters, moulds, makes it. The immobility or bruteness of nature, is the absence of spirit; to pure spirit, it is fluid, it is volatile, it is obedient. Every spirit builds itself a house; and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world a heaven. Know then, that the world exists for you. For you is the phenomenon perfect. What we are, that only can we see. All that Adam had, all that
us, and secure, as best we can, a solitude that hears not. I once heard a preacher who sorely tempted me to say, I would go to church no more. Men go, thought I, where they are wont to go, else had no soul entered the temple in the afternoon. A snow storm was falling around us. The snow storm was real; the preacher merely spectral; and the eye felt the sad contrast in looking at him, and then out of the window behind him, into the beautiful meteor of the snow. He had lived in vain. He had no one
greet, all honors crown, all eyes follow with desire. Our love goes out to him and embraces him, because he did not need it. We solicitously and apologetically caress and celebrate him, because he held on his way and scorned our disapprobation. The gods love him because men hated him. “To the persevering mortal” said Zoroaster, “the blessed Immortals are swift.”ew As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect. They say with those foolish Israelites,